INDUSTRY bodies have welcomed the release of a report into the proposed Biosecurity Imports Levy.

A steering committee prepared the report for agriculture minister Senator Bridget McKenzie who released a copy this week.

Australian Logistics Council chief executive Kirk Coningham said the government must commit to working cooperatively with industry on any revised proposal.

“This report backs up many of the concerns that ALC has expressed regarding the Levy since it was first announced in May 2018 without any proper industry consultation,” Mr Coningham said.

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“The Biosecurity Levy Steering Committee has backed the view that ALC and other industry participants have previously expressed – the levy as  originally proposed was poorly designed, was not based on a full and proper consideration of biosecurity risks and provided no guarantee that revenue raised would actually be used to enhance biosecurity measures.”

Mr Coningham said it was clear there was a paucity of reliable, science-based data on relative biosecurity risk generated by the various import pathways.

“Rectifying this issue must be an immediate priority,” he said.

Australian Federation of International Forwarders chief executive Brian Lovell said he was pleased the minister had authorised release of the final report in order for all sectors to understand the options and rationale behind the recommendations.

AFIF was one of the entities included on the Ministerial Biosecurity Levy Committee.

Mr Lovell said there was still no definitive time-frame around the date of the introduction of such a levy and as the original indicative date of September 1 had passed, it would be unlikely for Parliament to be in a position to discuss the report soon.

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